The new ballroom is starting to pay off. Calgary finally has a venue to host acts that have been passing us over for so many years.
The most recent benefit of the MacEwan Hall expansion was the first Calgary appearance of alternative rock darlings Modest Mouse. Needless to say, the ballroom sold out--packed with fans hungry to get their first glimpse of the Issaquah, Washington-based band.
Modest Mouse is going through a bit of turmoil right now, having lost drummer Jeremiah Green to a side project while recording the follow-up to their last studio album, 2000's The Moon and Antarctica. However, they still found time to do a four-date tour that included our city. Adding a second guitarist and borrowing a drummer from one of their supporting acts, frontman Isaac Brock and bassist Eric Judy managed to put on a remarkable show.
Opening with the fantastic "rarity" "Never Ending Math Equation," the band played songs both from their last three LPs as well as treating the audience to several unreleased numbers. Highlights included "Paper Thin Walls" and "Wild Packs of Family Dogs" from The Moon and Antarctica, as well as "The Good Times Are Killing Me," from whatever their next album is called.
Both opening acts were a pleasant surprise. Calgary's own Reverie Sound Revue started the festivities and doubtlessly won over more than a few fans. Portland, Oregon's Helio Sequence played second and showed White Stripes fans what a rock duo should sound like.